We found the Headspace trial somewhat limited, too. Headspace offers a little bit of everything. It has 4.9 stars (out of five) across 250,000 users in the App Store. Relax Melodies has a large library of meditations and stories geared toward sleep, as well as winding down and relaxing in the evening. One that I selected is narrated by John McEnroe, the retired tennis player. Calm has breathing exercises where you can set a timer to begin and end your practice. He used to build WordPress websites but gave it all up to develop little iOS games instead.

Headspace also offers other shorter guided sessions—like “Unwind” and “Restore”—in its Minis section. Some types of meditation include the practice of “body scanning,” in which you direct your focus to your muscles and sensations you’re experiencing, or to feeling the weight of your body in space. Other basic meditations I tried were good as well, and I never left a session feeling as though I didn’t achieve what it said I would, whether that be a feeling of calm, focus, or decreased stress. You can preview all 10 classes in the first basics pack Headspace offers, as well as the first meditation in a series of other courses, but to unlock most of the app’s content, you will need to subscribe. Headspace urges you to follow a program for a set number of days, whereas Calm sends one Daily Calm which is a new technique for you to try. He is a lecturer at Stanford's Life Design Lab. I also had some difficulty with Calm’s interface. Plus it helps if the founder is a Buddhist monk. With Calm, you get 7 days of premium access after which subscription will cost you $59.99 annually, or you can pay a one-time fee of $299.99. Headspace is more linear and wants you to continue with the guided meditations. 3 iOS Apps to Help You Unwind and Relax After a Long Day, How to Change YouTube Music Playlist Cover on Mobile and Web, How to Hide Pictures in Google Photos on Mobile and Desktop. I was surprised by the strict limits, because they barely allow users to skim the surface. […], Your email address will not be published. ©2020 Reviewed, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network LLC. Meditation and breathing exercises can calm your nerves almost immediately in most situations.

For example, figuring out how to save a sound mix was confusing, but it rarely took me more than a minute or two to figure things out. Many other apps were visually confusing with too many nature images or poor topic organization.

The mindful moments series has you focus on something you love. That said, I worked with Reviewed’s scientist, Julia MacDougall, to develop questions and assessments that consider the app’s user friendliness, versatility, library of sessions, and, of course, the effectiveness of the meditation sessions. Here are 3 iOS apps to help you unwind. Note: Beyond its typical 14-day free trial, Headspace is offering additional features to help users during the coronavirus pandemic. I found it difficult to rewind or fast-forward in meditations, which you sometimes want to do if you’ve lost your focus or want to advance past a lull. Get mindful with a free meditation. With every subscription comes a cancellation, so I went through that process for each app and considered how easy or difficult it was. But the interface and overall user experience isn’t as polished or appealing as our top picks. Most others felt like a disparate collection of meditations with little guidance as to where a user should begin. If you’re serious about cultivating a deep meditation practice, you might appreciate Puddicombe’s effective approach to explaining techniques, the wide selection of meditation courses, and the adjustable session lengths.

In Calm, you can change the narrator to John Armstrong too. Meditation can be an effective, low-cost way to deal with stress, and you don’t need a coach or class to learn key techniques: The best meditation apps provide calming guidance when anxiety and overwhelming feelings arise. Several of the other apps we tested, including Headspace, have a daily meditation that the app automatically opens to. However, Headspace is more direct and comes to the point faster. While Headspace is the best app we found overall, it still has its shortcomings. Calm has 4.8 stars (out of five) across 758,000 reviews in the App Store, putting it among the top-rated meditation apps. If you’re looking for an app to use primarily at nighttime and that can function as a sound machine, Relax Melodies is a great choice. Note: In addition to its usual week-long free trial, Calm is also offering special free features for de-stressing during these difficult times. I also didn’t love the interface, especially the home page.

That is where you practice.

People meditate for a variety of reasons: to reduce stress, cope with events in their life or the world, wind down for sleep … the list goes on. Get smarter about what you're buying. Andy Puddicombe is the voice behind all the sessions that you will go through in Headspace.

We also found Calm’s sign-up process to be somewhat misleading, as the sign-up page doesn’t make clear how to opt out of a full subscription, and canceling through the App Store can be annoying. Simple Habit also has a high price tag at $89.99 per year.

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